State’s Attorney Kim Foxx received plenty of support Saturday from Black leaders in Chicago who joined her in denouncing a group of white police chiefs in Illinois and police union officials who called for Foxx’s resignation over her handling of the Jussie Smollett case.
Prior to Foxx’s press conference Saturday morning, Cook County’s top prosecutor met with a group of more than a dozen Black mayors and seven Black police chiefs from the south suburbs who said they “were satisfied with her addressing our questions and concerns,” the Chicago Sun-Time reported.
That stands in contrast to the all-white police chiefs and union leaders who called on Thursday for Foxx to step down for dropping charges in March against Smollett. The “Empire” actor, who is Black and openly gay, had been indicted on 16 charges of faking a racist, homophobic attack against himself.
Foxx held a press conference Saturday at the Rev. Jesse Jackson’s Rainbow PUSH, surrounded by several Black leaders.
“The FOP (police union) is the sworn enemy of Black people,” said U.S. Rep. Bobby Rush, a Chicago Democrat, adding that the attacks on Foxx are racist. He pointed to the union’s opposition to Foxx’s efforts at reforming the racist criminal justice system.
Jackson said the “personal” attack on Foxx was expected from a police union that also supported disgraced police detective commander Jon Burge who was accused of the abuse and torture of Black suspects.
“The FOP has been resistant to police and criminal justice reform for a long time,” Jackson said.
Foxx said at the press conference that she has no plans to resign.
“I cannot run an office that is driven by anger and public sentiment,” Foxx said. “I must run an office that looks at the facts, the evidence and the law on every case. That is my responsibility.”
Foxx stated that she has a history of working professionally with law enforcement partners who have disagreed with her reform policies. It was disappointing, she added, that the chiefs and union leaders failed to return the same professional courtesy.
Here’s a video clip of her comments.
On Jan. 29, while walking to a subway, Smollett claimed two men yelled racial and homophobic slurs at him, investigators told The Hollywood Reporter. They allegedly punched and poured bleach on him while one of the suspects put a rope around his neck. As they fled the scene, Smollett told police they said, “This is MAGA country.”
Smollett has maintained his innocence from the beginning.